Tips for Seniors Feed

Dear Carol: My dad’s in the middle to late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s been rough on both my mom and me in many ways, but right now I can say that the worst is my dad’s verbal abuse. He was always a gentle, wonderful man, so this uncharacteristic behavior is extra baffling and hurtful. He calls us ugly names and swears at us because he thinks that we’re stealing from him or even poisoning him. Mom is so ashamed that this is happening that she can’t tell anyone about it, but I need an outlet, which is why I’m writing. How do we handle living with Dad’s verbal abuse without breaking down or acting ugly ourselves? – KC Read more →


Dear Candid Caregiver: My mother is in a lovely assisted living facility and I have to say that she’s having a ball. While she’s always had a tendency to play “the Grand Lady,” this arrangement seems to have given her even more of a feeling of entitlement. There’s another woman with a similar personality and they seem to have a turf war going on, even to the point of “recruiting” people for their tables. I’m thrilled that Mom has competition – it’s about time – and I find the whole scenario funny. I don’t see a problem with laughing at some of these situations, but I have a friend who is deadly serious about every aspect of aging and she thinks that I should be taking this seriously Read more →


Dear Carol: I recently had an experience that I'd like to share with your readers. My dad has several serious physical and mental conditions so his medical file is complicated. Recently, a new drug to help with breathing problems was released and his doctor, who is outstanding in all ways, saw no reason for Dad not to try it. We left the clinic in good spirits but had barely gotten Dad home when my phone rang. It was the pharmacy telling me that an information update had alerted them that dad’s newly prescribed drug could seriously interact with one of his other prescriptions. I asked the pharmacist to follow through with Read more →


Dear Candid Caregiver: My 79-year-old mom has been widowed for a little over a year. She’d always depended on Dad to help her because her arthritis limited her movement and she uses a walker much of the time. Now, though, there’s been a complete change in attitude, and she insists that she can take care of everything herself, even physical tasks that are clearly a challenge... Read more →


Increasingly, stress is considered a risk factor for dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s. Stress is also a risk factor for stroke and heart attack as well as a trigger for many diseases from arthritis to psoriasis. Obviously, limiting stress in our lives is a good idea. But how? Simply living what we call modern life seems to make stress the norm. Read more →


As you watch your parents or other beloved elders age, sometimes worry becomes inevitable. Should they have housing upgrades? Can they continue to live independently? Your intention isn’t to take over their lives, but you may genuinely want to start the conversation about possible future changes. How do you do this without causing a backlash? Read more →


Dear Candid Caregiver: My grandma has had mixed dementia, probably a combination of Alzheimer’s and vascular, for many years. She’s generally sweet and compliant, just wanting to stay comfortable in a world that she seems to have created for herself. The whole family tries to encourage her to tell stories, which she will sometimes do if she’s feeling up to it, but mostly she listens to the old-time music that we play for her or she naps. Grandma hasn’t recognized anyone... Read more →


Dear Candid Caregiver: My dad has Alzheimer’s. Caring for him is difficult, but since I have support and also have made an effort to get educated about the process, I’m doing well enough. I also try to educate others when the opportunity presents itself because we’ve experienced the stigma that goes along with this disease and I want to help eliminate that. What has me in a twist at the moment, though, is how cruel some people can be. Read more →


...How to console their older adult who is facing incontinence; how to convince their elder that wearing protection is far better than smelling of urine; or how to pay for the products once they are in use. Feeling the need for an expert in this area, I contacted Mica Phillips, director of urology for the durable medical equipment provider AeroFlow. Our email conversation has been lightly edited for length and flow. Read more →


Dear Candid Caregiver: Six months ago, at age 56, my husband was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. While we aren’t in denial about all of the tough times ahead, my husband has a well-informed doctor who is trying to steer us away from all of the negative dialogue that exists about the “horror” of Alzheimer’s. He’s even started us with some helpful online groups that are focusing on living well with dementia. Read more →